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W Vandoren Wheeler



The mountain laments

that it can’t taste

the climbers it eats.


Something clouds

resemble: white cancers

mushrooming through a blue brain.


Another thing rain

is like: tiny eyes opened

by the fall, terrified

by the razors of flower petals.


Bugs go airborne

to keep from being

eaten. Birds meet them

there, in the air.


At dusk the sky

becomes a flesh

from which unseen

claws draw diminishing colors…


In a dark forest, the trees

surrounding us seem

infinite. Who can describe

these pine needles

as they rise toward us?

What are they

injecting us with?

Some illogical impulse

to cuddle bear cubs?


Oh, why not? Whether

we run or just

play dead, Mother

will maul us all.





My mind is an Omnimax.

The fly fishing instructor made me hold

a dollar between my elbow and my ribs.

Rainbow trout actually exist.

The photography instructor pins the prints together and squints.

The hole left makes the print a practice.

In the plastic carousel, stale vacations await.

Other carousels dizzy kids.

Satan sculpted all the sugar I ever ate into another me.

Closed my eyes to see him more clearly.

Fiskars makes my favorite scissors.

Everything I remember of Arizona fits in a Viewfinder.

I don’t remember Dad being there. He was.

Our ice cream melted nearly instantly.

Red thumbtacks I experienced intensely.

My experience of a popsicle is really

your experience of another popsicle.

My college photographs became me.

Photoshop stopped my glossy heart.

There isn’t anything like a stream.

The trick really is in the wrist.

Dad pulled the fishhook from my thumb.

My mind puts it back in.

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